Thursday, December 18, 2014

Beautiful Books #3: The Venice Novel Yet Again

And here we go with the third and final round of Beautiful Books. Next month - we're back to characters. Even though I'm taking a break from my Venice novel (Masked Souls is what it's called for now), I thought I'd still use it for the questions this month, just for consistency's sake. So here we go!

1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) how well do you think this book turned out?
Considering I didn't finish it... I'd say it was a solid 5. The pre-NaNo stuff did more for me than the actual NaNo writing. Which is weird.

2. Have you ever rewritten or editing one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s your plan?
I have never edited a book of mine. I've edited short stories, but not novels. And this darling Venice novel is not going to be edited anytime soon. I've got to finish it first. :-)
But here's my general plan:
~Print it out. (Waste of paper? Yes. But I think it'll help.)
~Read through and scribble in the margins. 
~Go through the word doc and change what I scribbled.
~Possibly rewrite the entire thing from scratch and start over.

I don't even know. Writing is madness. Why did we choose this weird writer's life, people?

3. What’s your final wordcount? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book?
Ha, it's not done yet. All these questions assume it's done, of course. Nope.
Right now, I have one (also unfinished) version that's around 35k, and then this NaNo's version that is a little over 15k. So. I'm aiming for 60k in the end, though.

4. What’s are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?
Characters. Particularly da Vale, my antagonist.
But by the end of this process, I'm hoping I'm proud of my plot, too. 'Cause that baby's gonna need some work.

5. What’s your favourite bit of prose or line from this novel?
Actually, it's right in the beginning, from the Prologue. I love baby Zaneta. I think I had this excerpt in my last Beautiful Books post, but here it is again, anyway:
"Come dance with me, cuore mio," exclaimed Bartolomeo, clasping Besina in his arms and twirling her around his workshop. Zaneta, enchanted, leapt around, arms twirling, in the sort of graceless yet perfect dance that only children are capable of. Besina, with a mother's mind, gasped out, "Don't break anything!" but Bartolomeo only cried, "Dance with me!" and care was tossed to the wind. 
Laughing, twirling, and gasping for breath, the trio made their way out into the fresh and cold air of the Venetian autumn. "Don't catch cold," Besina said, still smiling, and draped her shawl over her daughter's tiny shoulders.  
"The canal drowned the moon!" Zaneta shrieked, awestruck, gazing at the reflection in the water before them. The little canal lapped onward, unknowing of its great misdeed.  
"The the moon isn't drowned," Bartolomeo laughed. "Look, the canal is only its mirror. It wants to see how fine it looks on such a clear night." He knelt down to Zaneta's eye level and pointed towards the shining moon in the sky. "Don't you think it looks fine?" 
"It's a fine moon," Zaneta agreed, soberly. "Moon! You're looking quite wonderful tonight!" 
She knelt down on the cobblestone and peered into the canal before her. "Ohh," she sighed, "I'm looking quite wonderful too."

6. What aspect of your book needs the most work?
Plot. Totally and entirely.

7. What aspect of your book is your favourite?
DA VALE. Need you even ask? I love my dear, troubled villain.

8. How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed-out?
I love my characters. They are spectacular (in my opinion). 

9. If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?
Not rush it. Make more notes. Not have school randomly take up my writing time.
(That last one is perhaps something I cannot change.)

10. Did anything happen in your book that completely surprised you? Have any scenes or characters turned out differently to what you planned? Good or bad?
Da Vale is a bit different than I expected him to be, but I like where he's going.
Also, there is going to be a possible murder now. There wasn't, in the original plan. Mwahahaha!

11. What was the theme and message? Do you think it came across? If not, is there anything you could do to bring it out more?
I... don't have a concrete theme yet. Perhaps something about not trying to control life? Getting your priorities straight? Not going out with masked strangers who won't tell you their name?

12. Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?
Both. Sort of. I like deadlines, but not too harsh. I don't want writing to become an utter chore, which is why I quit NaNo this year.

13. Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men, etc.)
The Night Circus meets The Count of Monte Cristo. Or something. This is hard.

14. How do you celebrate a finished novel?!
Not this one, but I HAVE finished a novel before. So I celebrate with chocolate ice cream. And a flail dance around the house. And cheering family members.

15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?
A certain nostalgic feeling of magic, an introspective look at humanity and motivations, and a desperate desire to visit Venice.

Have you ever reached the editing point in your novel writing? How do YOU celebrate finishing a novel?

I'm off to work on some OTHER WIP's now - all completely different from my Venice novel, and all completely outside my usual writing comfort zone. One is paranormal, about an unusual team of ghost-hunters. One is contemporary romance, about fame and its effects on people and relationships. And one is me playing around with Arthurian characters in a modern college setting. I'm having a lot of fun with that one :-)



  1. Loved the excerpt! The Night Circus meets The Count of Monte Cristo? I want to read it!
    Writing is indeed madness, but a fun kind (also painful too through).
    I love printing off bits of my book too, somehow it's easier for me to edit it that way. Arthurian characters in college? You must write this book immediately!!!

    1. I... will try? With Once and Future King in my head, I've started looking at certain Arthurian characters in different ways. But we shall see. :-)

  2. You are writing a team of unusual ghost-hunters? IS IT SUPERNATURAL INSPIRED? Hehhhehe.
    Oh you villain lover, you. I have that insane problem too. I'm always voting so much for my villains that my sister actually gets mad when she reads my books and hates on my villains. I sit there going, "But he-he-he didn't mean to. HE HAD A SAD CHILDHOOD." And she just rolls her eyes at me.
    I approve of your celebration methods, btw.
    And ooh, printing it all out?! I dream of doing that. XD My parents have so far said no, which I understand, being my books are several hundred pages BUT it would still be awesome to hold it physically I say. :))
    Thanks for linking up with us!

    1. Unfortunately, NOT Supernatural inspired. I had the idea for it about a month before I started considering getting into Supernatural (which I still have yet to see, by the way...).
      I have never printed anything all out. But I hope to. It would be fun. :-)

  3. I love the names for your characters! Baby Zanete sounds real cute :D Thanks for sharing, Sophia! <33

    1. I'm glad you liked it! It's quite a fun story :-)


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